[This page was started with the help of the Flipped Classroom workshop Jan. 26, 2011]

Watch this video for a brief introduction to the concept of a flipped classroom.

What is it?

  • The most basic model is that instruction happens outside the class (in the form of videos, podcasts, notes or even readings) and class time is devoted to appropriating knowledge through activity or discussion.
  • In some cases the decision is made whether instruction needs to be given prior to doing work or not.
  • Students are given what they need to prepare for what they will do in class
  • It could be providing instruction for commonly asked questions or feedback on exams

Why do it?

  • This way the instructor is present when students are actually using the knowledge to be able to guide, answer questions and deal with more difficult matter rather than using class time primarily for instruction
  • Avoids replicating instruction between assigned readings and class lectures
  • Engages students in deeper learning and more engaged learning
  • Allows more interesting instruction or more engaging options that might not be possible during class
  • Students can review material at their own pace without relying solely on their notes
  • Be more mindful of what is done when. Why is a particular activity done for homework? Why are students receiving instruction on something in class? What is the benefit?

Problems to consider?

  • How do you get students to do the work outside class?
    • Make it worth their while and make it necessary to complete the work they will do in class.
    • Create contracts with your students
    • Explain why this is happening and how it will work. Talk to them about learning.
  • Will this add to instructor time?
    • It may take time at first, but it can also save class time, reduce time used in office hours to review material
    • Yes, creating the assignments will take more thought, but it will also make for more carefully considered teaching

How to get started?

  • Start small. Try a section or unit or chapter as an experiment. Learn from it and build out. Or try particular portions of instruction that students may want to review that could be provided in alternate formats.
  • It does not have to be videos. It could be assigned readings that will be discussed, blog posts, images, charts, etc. If you find a video online that serves your purposes you can use that (although students appreciate personalized content).
  • Begin considering where students are actually putting knowledge into practice
  • Be mindful of when they will need information. If they will not need to use knowledge until an exam, they will have no incentive to learn it ahead of time.
  • Consider what outcomes you want for your students. What do they need to leave your course knowing? What do you want them to know or be able to do in two years? Adjust your course to align with that goal.
  • Decide the best method for instruction for your content. If one section is best taught through a lecture, then use a lecture. Other portions might be learned better through participation or action. Some instructional information could be created in a different way to free class time for engaging with content.



  • Keep videos short
  • Determine your needs (visual? audio? text?)
  • Make instructions clear
  • Get feedback from students frequently
  • Explain to students what you're doing and why it's good for them.